Email Maintenance Tips

Email can become overwhelming quickly. Here are a few tips to help make email more manageable.


Organizing the email inbox with folders prevents the inbox from getting cluttered.  

For emails related to a topic, make a folder with the name of the topic to keep all the emails related to that topic in one easy to find place. In your email interface, you can right click on the folder marked Inbox and there is an option to create a new folder.

Name the folder as it relates to a common topic like Bank, Kids, Things to do, Hobbies or Left-handed Pitchers. The number of folders you can have is not limited, so create as many folders as needed to keep all topics easy to find. Also, folders can be created within folders to create an even higher level of organization. The best practice is to keep the Inbox for incoming emails and not a place for everything this makes it easier to find an email someone sent you with the important and timely information.


If you receive unwanted emails from a person or company, you can create a rule to automatically delete email from these sources.

The input box to set up rules for email is usually found in the main menu heading Tools / Rules.

Generally, the email program will guide you through the process of setting up the rule. For example, If THIS (email address or certain subject) then delete (or move to this folder). Or you can set up rules to put emails from a person or about a specific subject into the folders to help streamline the organization process.

If you get emails from a friend and you want to put their emails into a specific folder so you have all the emails from your friend in one spot, you can create a rule to perform this task.

Mailing List Subscriptions

Anyone can find themselves on a mailing list subscription.

Businesses want to send you information on deals, sales items, or a monthly newsletter. If you are no longer wanting these emails, go to the bottom of the email and hit unsubscribe. The business should honor this and take you off their mailing list. If you still get emails from them after you unsubscribe, then create a rule to move the email to trash or to delete it.

Deleted Items or Trash

You should empty the Deleted Items folder or Trash folder at least once a week.

You can also set up your email program to empty the Deleted Items folder when the email program is closed. It is not good practice to keep emails in the Deleted Items folder for an extended time. Doing so clutters your email interface and you do have a limited amount of space each email program can work with.

Depending on criteria built into the email program, you can be limited to how many gigabytes of storage the program can have in its database. Once that limit is reached, the program will stop receiving new emails until space is freed up. The quickest way to free up space in the email program is emptying the trash or deleted Items folder. In most programs you can set the program to empty the trash or deleted items on exit of program.

Multiple Email Accounts

Having multiple email accounts can be another great way to keep your email organized.

Gmail and Yahoo email are great for secondary email accounts. No need to add an account to your current email program, just go to the email website.

Additional accounts for specific purposes can keep you more organized. Having an email account just for hobbies means you can keep that information from taking over your email account that you have just for friends and family. If you get busy and don’t check it for a few days, that is ok. Keep an email account just for gaining access to websites.

Websites that require a login will normally send you emails once the account is established. The first email is a verification email to make sure the address you signed up with is valid. Then they will start sending you emails about the site. Having the email account just for this means you will not be bothered by those emails unless you log into the email account.